Next Step Day Treatment Patient Stories

Brad Poor

This accident victim went from almost giving up to giving back.

Ten months ago Brad Poor was in a coma after skidding off an icy road. Almost every bone in his body was broken; his abdominal organs were forced into his chest. At the time, all his friends and family wanted was for him to be the man he was. He ended up being so much more.

"My mom found Baptist services when I was still in a coma. When I came out of the coma and started the Next Step rehab program, I had to learn how to walk, eat, talk - basically learn how to do everything again as a result of my brain injuries."

Next Step put Brad through an intensive program of physical and speech therapy.

"They not only helped me out physically but also mentally. I needed to be re-taught absolutely everything. I'm so excited because in about two months I'll be able to take my test to drive again, so I can drive to church on my own and even go back to school. None of that would be possible if not for the treatment I've received and continue to receive here at Baptist."

Brad's recovery through Next Step was remarkable on its own. But his experiences changed him in more ways than one. He now volunteers at Baptist, to show his appreciation and to inspire others.

"I feel this is a great way to help pay my nurses back for all they did for me. Also, I feel like I have the opportunity to be an inspiration to others who are in the condition that I was in. I can show them just how far they'll be able to come and encourage them. And it's actually fun here! When I volunteer, it's usually the best day I have."

Charley Wilson

The Next Step program gets this stroke victim back on his feet.

After Charley Wilson had a stroke on July 7, 2007, he spent three weeks in inpatient therapy at Baptist. He continued therapy as an outpatient after that, but when the Next Step program became available, Charley was a perfect candidate.

Next Step was conceived for patients like Charley — those who have completed inpatient therapy but need something more than traditional outpatient therapy to get back to their normal lives.

Charley joined Next Step in January 2008, where he was around other stroke victims and people of all ages who had suffered major neurological trauma. "I really enjoyed being around the other people in Next Step," said Charley. "We did things like work on the computer, go fishing, go to the store. I was even able to help a couple of other patients who were having trouble communicating because of speech problems."

The staff at Baptist encourages patients toward independence, and Charley feels like being a part of Next Step helped him progress. "The program helped me get around by myself more. I was four days into a new job when I had my stroke, and I hope to get back to work soon."

One of the therapists at Baptist connected Charley with someone who builds handicapped-accessible decks, so he can go outside and enjoy the fresh air. He is even able to walk now, though he still must be careful. But seeing other patients in Next Step gave him valuable perspective:

"When you see other people's situations, you realize how good you have it. The staff has a positive attitude, which helps you keep a positive attitude, and that's a big part of the progress we make."